Holy crap, season 2 of Quantico is stressful! Things in downtown Manhattan’s present are getting bloodier by the minute — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Shelby and León are still enjoying each other’s company, so much so that Nimah thinks Shelby needs to cut her losses as a handler (sorry, Alex!) and go undercover. And they’re not the only ones in the group sneaking around. When Shelby and Alex get to the safe house for a meeting, there’s already one in progress between Miranda, Nimah, and Ryan. Alex doesn’t appreciate being left out of the plans and promises to get something concrete on Owen Hall, ASAP.
Afterwards, the entire class goes to the Gold Leaf to play darts. They decide on a game in which the losers have to answer personal questions, and along with León admitting to everyone he’s “made a friend,” we learn Dayana is from Harare, Zimbabwe; meanwhile, Alex skirts answering whether she and Ryan ever hooked up. The game ends as Sebastian loses his cool with Harry.
The next morning, Owen Hall introduces the recruits to their next challenge: “Enhanced interrogation techniques,” a.k.a. torture. After he introduces what several common techniques feel like, he tells the class their challenge tomorrow will be to torture him until he cracks and tells them the alias he cultivated while undercover. However, Owen’s pretty hard to crack, and it brings out an interesting side of everyone. Alex and Harry want to stay within the parameters of acceptable torture (I know) but after 20 hours, Ryan, León, and Sebastian want to get their hands dirty.
Ryan recruits Dayana for help. He knows she lived in Harare longer than she lets on, and when he tells her as much, she reveals she’s been involved in horrible, horrific things. Ryan asks her how she would torture Owen effectively. She tells them to torture someone Owen loves — they tie Lydia to a chair and begin waterboarding her. Owen cracks pretty quickly.
A thing that happened during Ryan and Dayana’s sideline chat: Alex ran back to Owen’s house to snoop while everyone was busy. She finds a trap door and a secret nook housing a laptop and six phones. And Harry, who delayed Lydia so Alex wouldn’t get caught, wants to know exactly what she found. Her celebration is short-lived, though: Shelby’s alarmed Alex didn’t take a single one of the phones, a call log, anything. Shelby says it’s time for a new plan and stays behind with Nimah and Ryan. Alex is on the outs, officially. Nimah and Shelby begin to develop her alias so she can continue her “work” with León.
Alex consoles herself at the local watering hole, where Owen Hall arrives to nurse his own wounds. Lydia chewed him out for caving so quickly. She thinks he’s weak. Owen and Alex decide to get burgers together, and I’m left to wonder how a burger ends up with Owen in custody. (Don’t forget what we learned last week!) Owen says he admires Alex’s conviction earlier in the day, and I think this is when we realize Owen is unlikely to be the head of a renegade faction. It seems he likes playing by the rules?
Here’s how the week wraps up for the rest of the recruits:
NEXT: The body count in New York is on the rise…
By dislocating her shoulder, Alex breaks loose from where she’s been tied up. She grabs the phone she lifted off the terrorists and calls the outside number they’d been in contact with (Miranda), but it doesn’t answer. She decides to call Shelby instead. Halfway through giving her the digits, the phone dies. Her luck worsens when a group of the assailants find her. They knock her out and when she comes to, she’s again tied up, this time in a new room. The floor is covered in blood.
The door opens and a guy named Mike is thrown in. He’s begging her to tell him where the drives are. She doesn’t believe him. She tells him she knows he’s working with the terrorists, who, at that moment, come into the room with a bunch of torture-ready tools. Alex tells Mike not to worry; they won’t actually kill him. They shoot him in the head, and I literally gasped.
It’s also right then I realize Alex’s hair is a mess, that she’s sweaty and covered in blood. This is a far departure from the hairspray and perfect ringlets that ruled season 1 — and it’s awesomely effective, especially when paired with a much, much grittier storyline.
The terrorists, of course, aren’t finished with Alex. They bring in Dayana for another round of torture. Alex and Dayana promise each other not to give in. “Be strong,” they say, as the group begins stabbing Dayana. Eventually, Alex screams out. She tells them Lydia has the drives and if the terrorists turn off their cell-signal jammer for even a minute, they’d be able to track her. (I think we’re all on the same page here, but Alex definitely did not actually crack.)
FBI headquarters is aflutter as Shelby tells people about her phone call from Alex. When Miranda hears they’re tracking the numbers and doing something cross-reference-y or something to figure out who it is, Miranda needs an exit strategy. Who does he call? Her doting boyfriend. She distracts him with a kiss in her office while she slides her phone into his briefcase. Back in the lobby, the phone rings, and Miranda lets him take the fall.
In the background, the news broadcast reveals President Todd has given all the powers of his office to Vice President Claire Haas.
Back in the crisis zone, Sebastian, Harry, and León barge through the door. Together with Alex and Dayana, they decide to find their way to the bunker downstairs for medical supplies. Alex says she’s done playing nice — and I think I believe her.